The arms race between the Big Two has officially carried over into the multiplex. With both Marvel and DC announcing massive slates of films for release between now and 2020, there are more comic book films to look forward to than ever before. With projects ranging from the streets of Gotham to the deepest regions of the Galaxy, there’s should be at least one big screen project to excite comic fans.
But here at Comicbook.com, we’ve extended that wishlist to 10. As pop culture enters an unprecedented age of comic-dominated films and related news, here are the projects that will be getting us out of bed through 2015 and beyond.
Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice
Really, how could we not be? For DC fans, this one is arguably a bigger draw than Justice League, for the same reasons that Marvel's The Avengers may never be matched in terms of fan enthusiasm: it's a first.
In this case, it's the first time DC's two greatest superheroes – and arguably the two greatest superheroes – will share the big screen. The fact that Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Aquaman and more have been sprinkled in is just a (huge) bonus.
There's also the fact that, so far, we know very little about the film aside from casting – and since the film is setting the stage for DC's cinematic universe, every morsel of information has become front-page news. This is the definition of a film that we – and our readers – are excited for; nobody can seem to get enough. Will Superman overcome his Man of Steel malaise to become the inspirational figure he is in the comics? Will Lex Luthor end up in jail and, as rumors suggest, in the Suicide Squad movie? What role will the kingdoms of Aquaman and Wonder Woman play in the geopolitics of the DC Universe? There's so many questions to be answered in this one film, some fans have had a hard time believing they're going to be able to get it all in and still focus on telling a good, stand-alone story.
We're hoping for – and expecting – one, though...and we can't wait.
Avenger: Infinity War Part I & II
When Infinity War releases, it will literally be a film a decade in the making. Coming 10 years after the Marvel Cinematic Universe was born with Iron Man, the Marvel’s master movie project will finally be realized. Viewers will have assembled with the Avengers, partied with the Guardians of the Galaxy, and explored the mystic nether realms with Doctor Strange. From what we’ve gathered on the project so far, this film will combine all of those corners from the Marvel Universe, stew them together, and deliver a Marvel Movie so deliciously epic that it will make The Lord of the Rings look like a Hanna-Barbera cartoon.
With Josh Brolin primed as Marvel’s greatest villains, Thanos, Marvel wisely decided to break their biggest story yet into two parts. This makes for a film that keeps on giving, providing viewers with two separate opportunities to lose their nerd marbles as the entire Marvel universe gathers under one film.
We're expecting quite a bit from Shazam, given the new revelation that it might actually be taking place in the same Universe as the other movies. However, this could mean it operates on the fringes, giving the same kind of sense of anarchic freedom that made Guardians of the Galaxy such a great experience this year – but that suits the character pretty well.
After all, this is a project that's been in development in one form or another for years, and not only has Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson been involved for years, effectively making this a long-awaited movie...but he's super-excited, and that tends to go a long way toward helping his large fanbase get invested.
Justice League Parts I & II
And so all that gushing we did about Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice above? Yeah, double that for Justice League Part I and Part II. We can't wait to see it all come together, and the Justice League is a truly iconic super-team that has long deserved the big-screen treatment.
Plus, this should be where we find out what Green Lantern we'll be dealing with!
Captain America: Civil War
Without question one of the most controversial storylines in comics within the last decade. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is planning to do its take on the highly popular storyline which will no doubt pit Marvel superhero against Marvel superhero. Who will be standing when the smoke clears? That’s anyone’s guess.
Fans have been demanding a film for one third of DC’s Trinity for many years. The wait will soon be over. Before her solo cinematic debut, the Amazonian super heroine will be making an appearance in the highly anticipated Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice
One of the most highly anticipated Marvel films to date, the Wakandan superhero is set to make his debut in Captain America 3: Civil War before appearing in his own feature length film. One thing is for certain. Business in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is about to pick up.
Guardians Of The Galaxy 2
It's no secret that, like most people, we here at ComicBook.com loved Guardians of the Galaxy. A film that could have been a spectacular failure, it was instead one of the most entertaining comic book adaptations ever made, and the highest-grossing Marvel movie that didn't feature Robert Downey, Jr.
What are we most excited about for the sequel?
Honestly, a lot of it is just revisiting the unique corner of the Marvel Universe we saw in this year's mega-hit. Other than that, though, it'll be nice to get an answer on the question of Star-Lord's parentage, and to advance whatever's going on between the Guardians and Thanos ahead of his big appearance in Avengers: Infinity War.
Again, with so many superhero movies on the market today, the ones that are the most exciting are often the ones that are different.
And Suicide Squad is a great combination of iconic characters and a concept that's novel the the film world. Combine that with some terrific casting and a promising young director, and it's got all the makings of an Iron Man or Guardians of the Galaxy-style surprise hit.
You’ll find no bigger Cumberbros than the staff at Comicbook.com, which is why Dr. Strange floats at the top of our Marvel Phase Three list. Benedict Cumberbatch’s suave skills make him tailor made for superhero that would sooner save the day with his mind than his fists. But choice casting isn’t the only part of this film that we’re excited about. Much like Guardians of the Galaxy ushered in Marvel’s cosmic corners, Dr. Strange promises to introduce the universe’s mystical realm. We can only hope that Marvel rips that can wide open with its magical characters like Dormammu, Mephisto, The Elder, and Hellstorm.
And with recent reports that Al Pacino has recently met with Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige, we’re drooling at any prospective roles the famed actor might partake in.
So how about you? What movies are you most excited for?